Open Thinkering


Tag: Michael Caine

Quit whinging and ‘use the difficulty’!

'All the world's a stage'

Image by Pedro Moura Pinheiro at Flickr

If minor celebrities and athletes can write their autobiographies whilst still in their 20s, then I feel justified in dispensing some wisdom. Here it is:

If you want to go far in life, don’t whinge.

Not whinging is your fastest and most direct route to success, in any area. People don’t like whingers. Note that I’m not saying don’t say anything negative, just be aware of the difference between that and whinging.

Whinging is when an individual says something negative without any interest or commitment to making what it is they’re whinging about better. Their utterances are worse than useless as they actually make everyone else around them feel worse. That’s why people avoid whingers.

But not whinging isn’t just about winning friends and influencing people, it’s about personal happiness. Not whinging makes you feel better about yourself. And if you make a commitment to make changes rather than moaning about them, then your confidence will increase. You are likely to also gain new skills and your personal productivity is likely to skyrocket. 😀

I’m reminded of a quotation from Michael Caine I read recently on Scott Berkun’s blog about how he learned to use difficult situations to his advantage:

I was rehearsing a play, and there was a scene that went on before me, then I had to come in the door. They rehearsed the scene, and one of the actors had thrown a chair at the other one. It landed right in front of the door where I came in. I opened the door and then rather lamely, I said to the producer who was sitting out in the stalls, “Well, look, I can’t get in. There’s a chair in my way.” He said, “Well, use the difficulty.” So I said “What do you mean, use the difficulty?” He said “Well, if it’s a drama, pick it up and smash it. If it’s a comedy, fall over it.” This was a line for me for life: Always use the difficulty.

So be like Michael Caine. If you see a difficulty, don’t whinge; do something about it! 🙂